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FFCRA Goes Into Effect April 1

There's a great deal of information going on around the hopeful passage of Phase 3 of the US Stimulus Package in response to COVID-19. The Saipan Chamber will be spending the next week gathering information on how this impacts businesses and entities in the Commonwealth, and we'll be sharing information with you as know more.

Click here to view Press Release from the U.S Department of Labor


1) This Applies to Most CNMI Businesses Who Employ Less than 500 People

Many employers will have to provide up to 80 hours of paid-sick-leave benefits if employees need leave to care for their own or someone else's coronavirus-related issues. The legislation also updates the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide workers with job-protected, paid leave when they can't work—either onsite or remotely—because their minor son's or daughter's school or child care service is closed due to the public health emergency.

The paid-leave provisions will take effect April 1 and expire on Dec. 31.

Click here to read a great article from SHRM that breaks FFCRA down more simply.

2) You must post this poster in your workplace. Click here to download.

3) SHRM explains how to use payroll tax credits to pay for FFRCA Leave

"Employers with fewer than 500 employees can quickly begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits designed to reimburse them, dollar for dollar, for the cost of providing leave to employees affected by COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled the plan in a March 20 press release."

To take immediate advantage of the paid leave credits, businesses can retain and access funds that they would otherwise pay to the IRS in payroll taxes," the agencies said. If an employer is paying out more in COVID-19-required leave than its payroll tax liability, "the employer can immediately file for a refund on forms that the IRS expects to issue the week of March 23," according to law firm Hanson Bridgett. The IRS expects to process these refunds within two weeks under a new, expedited procedure. The IRS will post more information about these credits, once available, on its Coronavirus Tax Relief page. Eligible employers will be able to claim these credits based on qualifying leave they provide between April 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. Click here to read the full article.